Cally Banham has been a proud member of the St. Louis Symphony since 2006, when she was appointed to the Solo English horn position by Music Director David Robertson. Before joining the St. Louis Symphony, she held many posts, including English horn with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Principal Oboe with the Memphis Symphony, Fellow with the New World Symphony, and English horn with Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, in Toluca, Mexico. She has been featured as a soloist numerous times with the St. Louis Symphony, most recently in the fall of 2014 with Sibelius's Swan of Tuonela. She has performed nationally and abroad at various festivals, among them Tanglewood, UBS Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Spoleto USA, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and the Bellingham Music Festival. Banham has held a private teaching studio for 20 years and has given more than 100 educational demonstration concerts in St. Louis elementary schools. She also teaches in the master class setting and coaches the oboe students of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Hailed by the New York Times for “supremely beautiful playing and graceful virtuosity,” and by the Boston Globe for playing “outstanding in quality of tone and eloquence of phrase,” Banham has performed as a guest in the principal English horn chairs of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra.
In 2013 Banham transformed her hobby of dancing Argentine Tango into a musical pursuit. She founded Cortango Orquesta, a Tango dance band with a symphonic twist, featuring colleagues from the St. Louis Symphony and musicians of the jazz and Tango genres. Cortango performed live more than 20 times in its first two years, and released its debut album, Tandas, in May of 2015. As the founder and leader of Cortango, and Executive Producer of Tandas, Banham appeared as a guest on the PBS national program Arts America.
A native of Philadelphia, Cally Banham attended Temple University and studied with the late renowned Philadelphia Orchestra English hornist Louis Rosenblatt. She later moved to New York and received a Masters from the Manhattan School of Music, as a scholarship student of Joseph Robinson, New York Philharmonic Principal Oboist emeritus.